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Old 01-08-2011, 10:25   #76
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Re: Living Aboard in the Winter

I have a 200' anchor line and about 30' of nchor line wrapped around my mast down below. It keeps the cold from coming inot the cabin and IT MAKES AN AWESOME backscratcher.
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:39   #77
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Re: Living Aboard in the Winter

The electric heaters will work pretty well. Trouble is the heat rises to the cabin top with all heaters. You're feet will be cold and when you stand up your ears will be hot! a couple of slow turning small fans might help this problem. The biggest issue is condensation. When it's really cold it will run down the sides of the cabin trunk etc. A dehumidifier might be a big help. The other issue is condensation under your sleeping mattress. If you can provide an air space (dridek squares?) it helps. Otherwise it can be literally soaking wet under there.
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Old 01-08-2011, 11:01   #78
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Re: Living Aboard in the Winter

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobofthenorth View Post
Couple of points: Espar or Webasto forced air heat is a huge advantage. There are some issues with forced air heat but the big advantage is that you get enforced circulation and you can use cold air as makeup air so that the boat stays dry.
Exactly. With 30A service--even twin 30s--you can't get enough heat out of electric heaters to keep hatches and ports above dewpoint. There is no substitute for the high output of a diesel-fired heater.

Circulation of that heat is critical also.

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Originally Posted by bobofthenorth View Post
I see other posters talking about winterizing the boat and using shore showers but I don't understand why.
Nor do I. The only "winterizing" I do is to unhook the stern shower and drain the valve.
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Old 02-08-2011, 15:13   #79
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Re: Living Aboard in the Winter

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Originally Posted by veprjack View Post
I'm a newbie about to purchase a boat to live aboard year round north of Boston, so this thread is amazingly helpfu. Maybe I missed it here, but I think it was another forum, but someone said that it really helps to wrap insulation around the mast (the part in the cabin - DOH). They even string Christmas lights around it to offset the cosmetics - lol.

Anyway, THANK YOU all from a newbie for all you do! Oh, your PATIENCE with me and others too as we crawl the learning curve!
Where are you planning to live ?
It definitely helps a lot to insulate the mast. Otherwise it acts like a freezer stick in the middle of the cabin (Assuming that you have a keel stepped mast).
I would love to have diesel heat on my boat, but installation space and financial considerations have prevented me from doing the installation yet. Forced-Air installations are much easier, but are more invasive, and not as effective as forced hot water. As far as brands are concerned, you will get as many different opinions as there are users. Some love the Espar, others live the Webasto, and yet others will praise Hurricane. The different models of these heaters have different technology, but eventually, they are all high maintenance fixtures, usually giving you headaches a few times a year if you are a full-time liveaboard.
If you are a winter liveaboard in the northern climates, it is definitely useful to live on a marina that has fellow liveaboards. At Constitution Marina we pay an additional $90 liveaboard fee but that takes care of water delivery sent over 5 feet below the surface, showeling of the snow and ice and emptying of your holding tanks.
Liveing aboard should not be a chore where you have to go to the docks every day. I take daily showers, and cook on my boat, have my tv and enjoy my dinners. As long as you are full-time and keep some heat on your boat, you don't need to winterize.
Trawlers have more problems with freezing lines and fresh water than sailboats, where most of the systems are below the waterline. When it is 15 degrees out there, the 35 degree water keeps things in the bilge thawed up. However, one needs to be careful of water hoses that run close to the hull on the inside. thoese need to tend to freeze, especially if they are in a cockpit lazarette which is not heated.
Also, be careful of not freezing your bilge pump lines. This can happen if your bilge output is on the transom, like it is on some Catalinas.
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Old 02-08-2011, 15:21   #80
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Re: Living Aboard in the Winter

Ahmet, did you know Doug and Evelyn Sabbag of S/V Triumph 50' Gulfstar? They were rescued but their boat sank!!!! They were at Constitution Marina since November!!! THEY are the reason I'm here and THEY are the reason I'm looking for a boat to live on. VERY nice people. Here is dramatic story of rescue, complete with audio - Amver, Saving Lives at Sea Since 1958: Amver ship saves two sailors in dramatic Atlantic rescue

I will probably end up in Salem Mass or Marblehead. This weekend I'm going to look at two more boats, and BOTH of them look good - 30' Sabre and Pearson 303. Thanks for the advice - I have a HUGE learning curve, but looking forward to it!

I'll post more about S/V Triumph when I get in touch with them, and more on my journey to buy a boat/live aboard!!
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Old 16-10-2011, 10:14   #81
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Re: Living Aboard in the Winter

HI everyone, i have read this entire thread, and i am newbie also, on a 32 Carver aft cabin, and i will be doing winter in Toronto...a bit nutz i know...and i do have to be honest i am nervous about this condensation issue...now i am wanting to get the closed cell insulation that people have suggested...but here is the my dumb question...where does it go...all the walls in the living areas are carpet...and i understand there should not be air spaces to collect moisture...i am using a could electric heaters...and electric blankets...so my question is, where is the best use of this insulation?
Thank you in advance
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Old 25-10-2011, 16:00   #82
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Re: Living Aboard in the Winter

A lot of good thoughts here but there is always some differences between sailboats and power vessels regarding cold weather. Sailboats can be easier to "insulate" due to the natural insulation the surrounding water provides to living areas, which are for the most part at or below waterline (in sailing vessels).
Eventually you will find where you need the insulating material.
One thing I can tell you; in a power boat your windows need much attention regarding insulation.
There is a removable, non-permanent caulk (Draft Arrest, I think...) you get at hardware stores or Canadian Tire. Apply that stuff heavily into every seam where your sliding window seams meet. The heavier you apply it, the easier it will be to remove in the spring. Then, get the clear indoor insulating film and put it on every window on the inside. It comes with two sided tape, it is tedious work to put on but without it you will have rivers of condensation running down and freezing on your interior window panes.
Close up exterior venting of your hull in the bilges but leave fans to circulate air around. Unless you are diesel powered, do not put any heaters that are not vapor protected into your bilges or your insurance underwriter will use it to get out of paying a fire claim, should you have one. (Of course you can never claim ice damage, that is always an exclusion!)
Use only those oil filled radiator heaters in your bilge (assuming you are a gasoline fueled vessel). Never a ceramic or other open element, non-protected heater.

Living aboard is the greatest way to spend our time on this last frontier, being free (relatively) and close to nature. Wendy and I have spent nearly twenty years in the tropics and more than ten between the Pacific North West and the Great Lakes living aboard boats. Be it the Caribbean or Toronto, it all has challenges and rewards. If you play your cards right, the rewards will definitely outweigh the challenges.
Toronto has many liveaboards and good support for those who are just embarking on the adventure. Go for it but use common sense and stay safe!
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Old 27-10-2011, 22:41   #83
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Re: Living Aboard in the Winter

With teh Hurricane II and a oil filled radiator type and a 70 pint dehumid, we are only using the boiler on teh Hurricane for a few minutes in the morning to get it warmed up quick. I should also say it is the admiral who doesn't like the cold. I like it about 50 degrees. She has an elec blanket also...
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Old 28-10-2011, 05:00   #84
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Re: Living Aboard in the Winter

If not intending for the boat to move for a few months (or so) whilst living aboard, could add temporary insulation (a couple of rolls from a DIY superstore), including to bilges and for Doors / Hatches etc. As well as doubling up on hull sides (externally) on an - "every little bit helps" basis.

Depending on boat size / layout could even curtain off (with insulation?) part of the boat, especially the sleeping quarters (it's what the 4 poster beds with drapes were about in the ye olden days!).....human body gives off a lot of heat, might as well capture what you can.

Although not done the liveaboard in winter thing - I suspect the "Magic" answer to the cold is..........electricity (on tap 24/7 ). and the pocket to match. Having said that, would love a wood burner onboard - something that would take a kettle or a pan of soup
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Old 01-11-2011, 23:23   #85
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Re: Living Aboard in the Winter

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Originally Posted by Auspicious View Post
Exactly. With 30A service--even twin 30s--you can't get enough heat out of electric heaters to keep hatches and ports above dewpoint. There is no substitute for the high output of a diesel-fired heater.

Circulation of that heat is critical also.



Nor do I. The only "winterizing" I do is to unhook the stern shower and drain the valve.
That is more than what I do Dave. Well I don't have a stern shower.
Although we have many lives Oates here in Boston who do winterize.
I prefer to run the engine and generator periodically
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Old 01-11-2011, 23:27   #86
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Re: Living Aboard in the Winter

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Originally Posted by lookoutnw View Post
With teh Hurricane II and a oil filled radiator type and a 70 pint dehumid, we are only using the boiler on teh Hurricane for a few minutes in the morning to get it warmed up quick. I should also say it is the admiral who doesn't like the cold. I like it about 50 degrees. She has an elec blanket also...
I could not live in 50 degrees. 70 is about right.
What area do you live. Here in Boston one needs to turn on the heater quite a bit more than a few minuters in the morning
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Old 01-11-2011, 23:38   #87
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Originally Posted by veprjack
Ahmet, did you know Doug and Evelyn Sabbag of S/V Triumph 50' Gulfstar? They were rescued but their boat sank!!!! They were at Constitution Marina since November!!! THEY are the reason I'm here and THEY are the reason I'm looking for a boat to live on. VERY nice people. Here is dramatic story of rescue, complete with audio - Amver, Saving Lives at Sea Since 1958: Amver ship saves two sailors in dramatic Atlantic rescue

I will probably end up in Salem Mass or Marblehead. This weekend I'm going to look at two more boats, and BOTH of them look good - 30' Sabre and Pearson 303. Thanks for the advice - I have a HUGE learning curve, but looking forward to it!

I'll post more about S/V Triumph when I get in touch with them, and more on my journey to buy a boat/live aboard!!
Just sav Evelyn. They are back at Constitution on a small powerboat while searching for a new boat.
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:37   #88
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Re: Living Aboard in the Winter

Heat, lots of heat. Diesel heat, electric heat and animal heat. We installed a .4 gph ~ 45000BTU diesel hot water system for our main heat. (175+ gal fuel tank also helps) We have a couple of electric oil heaters (they're not ignition safe as the thermostat is open to air and flashes when cycling). A genset, or another alternative to shore power is a must. Other considerations include but are not restricted to: good ventilation, propane gas sensor, CO alarm(s), smoke alarm, keep the bilge dry, insulate the mast and have a good source of water (keep your hose[s] dry when not in use); we have a water maker and have had no problems producing water.
One of the best times had was a winter cruise and Christmas spent in Princess Louisa Inlet, B.C. We woke up one morning with 4" snow on the dock and the hiss of snow flakes landing in the water.
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:31   #89
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Re: Living Aboard in the Winter

A furnace makes it tolerable, a dehumidifyer makes it enjoyable.
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Old 02-11-2011, 17:47   #90
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Re: Living Aboard in the Winter

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Originally Posted by waterdancer View Post
I could not live in 50 degrees. 70 is about right.
What area do you live. Here in Boston one needs to turn on the heater quite a bit more than a few minuters in the morning
I am here in Rainopolis, aka, Puget Sound, aka Olympia, WA
I used to live in Portsmouth and in Southern and Northern Maine.
You can guess why I am here...
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